Common Summer Drainage Problems & How to Prevent Them

When you think of summer, your drainage and sewer system is probably the last thing that comes to mind. But did you know that there are specific issues that can pop up regarding these systems during the summer months?  Below are some common drainage issues many homeowners experience during the summer months and what you can do to help prevent them.

Sump Pump Problems

Ah, those warm summer rains and the thunderstorms that come along with them. They’re refreshing and calming at times, but can also be quite hazardous, in more ways than one. Heavy summer rains can wreak havoc on your home drainage system.

Many homes contain sump pumps in the basement to pump away groundwater. Too much rain can overwhelm your pump if you don’t have an adequate system in place. For some homeowners, having multiple sump pumps and even a battery backup system are essential to keeping water from seeping into their basement. If you experience water seepage or know your home has a drainage problem, it is vital that you address the sump pump issue to prevent a catastrophe later on.

Sewer Line Backups

While the warm summer weather is great for spending time outdoors, it also means the constant threat of those warm Midwest summer thunderstorms. And with those storms comes rain – sometimes lots of it! Lots of rain can overwhelm home sewer systems and cause backups.  Tree roots also cause problems during the summer months as they can find their way into your pipes through the smallest cracks, seeking out the water in your pipes.  The result is a blockage that only professional drain and sewer cleaning can effectively remove.

Clogged Drains

Having the kids off of school for the summer equals more occupants and more overall use of plumbing fixtures in your home. Although the COVID-19 pandemic right now may be limiting visitors, summer is usually a time to spend increased time with friends and family. 

Things like summer barbecues, more showers and more toilet use can all lead to clogged drains that could ultimately require drain cleaning services. Trips to the beach, camping and other summer activities can also  be brought back home in the form of extra dirt and debris.

So when you’re hosing off from a day at the beach, try your best to keep all of that sand out of your drains. Lastly, make sure any visitors are clear on what shouldn’t be flushed down your toilets – namely, feminine hygiene products, paper towels or wipes. 

Clogged Disposals

Summertime is the perfect time to break out the grill and host the perfect summer barbecue with friends and family.  While it’s a great time to relax with great company, it also leads to a higher likelihood of garbage disposal problems. Why is this, you ask?  With so much extra food being prepared, there is an increased risk of too much of the wrong items being put down your disposal.

So what foods should you keep in mind to never put down your disposal this summer? Below is a list of the worst offenders:

  • Keep the steak and chicken bones out of the disposal. Bones tend to continually spin around your disposal blades and even if they do make it down the disposal, they definitely won’t make it through your drain pipes. Make Fido happy instead and throw him that steak bone, surely he will appreciate it!
  • Certain fruits and vegetables. Those potatoes you’re pealing for your potato salad or the celery you’re adding to it? What about all of those eaten ears of corn or watermelon rinds? Don’t put any of these down your disposal! Celery strings tend to tangle around your blades, potatoes can cause a soupy mess in your disposal and hard pits or rinds just won’t ever grind up. None of these bodes well for your disposal.
  • Too much remaining pasta salad? Keep it out of your disposal. Pasta tends to swell up when exposed to water, even after it is fully cooked. Dumping it down the disposal increases the likelihood of it swelling and clogging the trap or causing a clog further down the line.
  • Grease and oil. Never dump grease or oil down your disposal. Just because it’s a liquid form when you dump it doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Grease and oil tend to harden up in your pipes, causing clogs that can lead to major issues.

Clogged Toilets

Having the kids off of school for the summer usually means more visitors in the form of friends and family. These increased visitors could see your toilets getting a bit more use during those hazy summer days.  While this generally isn’t a cause for concern, it can turn into one if those extra visitors aren’t aware of just what can – and cannot – be flushed down the toilet. Many times, toilet clogs can be taken care of simply with a plunger, however, continual flushing of anything other than toilet paper – baby wipes, paper towels, napkins or feminine hygiene products, to name a few – will certainly lead to backups that only a professional can clear.

Blocked Gutters & Downspouts

Plentiful summer rain can also cause your gutters and downspouts to clog. No matter the time of year, it’s always a good idea to periodically check your gutters and downspouts and remove things like leaves, sticks, dead animals or other debris from them. These things commonly cause clogs in your gutters or downspouts and don’t allow rain to properly drain away from your home.

Instead, clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to water pooling in your yard, with no place to go but into your basement or crawl space. It’s a good idea to check your gutters and downspouts before the start of every new season to prevent clogs in them. 

The Drain & Sewer Experts

If you’re dealing with an issue mentioned above or any other drain or sewer problem, call the drain and sewer experts at Reid & Pederson Drainage. We’ll get to you quickly and get things flowing again at your property!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana
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